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Port Richmond resident shares nostalgia for everyday life at Birch and Amber streets

Bob Horn poses for a portrait in the yard of his home near Port Richmond on November 20, 2022. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)

Bob Horn, a Port Richmond resident, grew up and lived in Kensington for 25 years. During his free time, Horn likes to write songs and poetry. Below is Horn’s explanation of the poem: 

“At The End of My Block” for me is the intersection of Birch and Amber streets. If you grew up in Kensington during the ‘70s and early ‘80s, I’m willing to bet you have at the end of your own block what’s also known as “the corner.” And if you’re as fortunate as I am, you still keep in touch with all your friends. Here and now, in 2023, we’re talking 50 years of friendship. We may not get together as often as we like, but when we do, it’s like we never left.

And then there are the memories: your first pair of Chuck Taylor’s, your first real leather jacket, the many lives of pimple a ball, halfies (when the pimple ball splits), wire ball, stick ball, and my favorite, assball, which was handball with the consequence of the loser leaning against a wall and getting hit on the butt with the pimple ball three times by the winner.”

At The End of My Block

 

 At the end of my block

 When the freight trains rolled

 I thought about its stock

 And where it could be sold

It’s something children did

 Here in Xanadu*

 Maybe when we grow up

 Pay the consequences due

At the end of my block

 In the dog days of August

 Poseidon looked upon us

 Grants us open hydrant solace

 At the end of my block

 A poet smokes a Marlboro

 He wants to stop the clock

 Wants today to be tomorrow

At the end of my block

  The old birch trees

 Blocks us from the sun

 With its amber-colored leaves

At the end of my block

 No chrysanthemums no marigolds

 From her empty garden

 Karen sees the world

 At the end of my block

 The good guy gang assembles

 Play these dudes in hockey

 Better be prepared to rumble

At the end of my block

 You wanna stop the clock

 In the state of our felicity

 Frozen in time

Living here in Xanadu

 Also known as Kensington

 Amongst the pirates and the nomads

 Helps a poet find a rhyme

*Xanadu refers to a place of great beauty, luxury, and contentment


Editors: Siani Colón, Zari Tarazona / Designer: Siani Colón

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